BARNSLEY boss David Flitcroft saluted his side’s battling qualities after a fine home win over promotion-chasers Brighton saw them climb off the foot of the table and out of the relegation zone.
And with just 10 league games remaining Flitcroft has stressed his players will need to continue showing those ‘war-like qualities’ he sees him in them to give themselves the best chance of retaining Championship status.
The Reds are now two points above the drop-zone with a game in hand on some of the sides above them, but they face a string of what promises to be testing fixtures after Saturday’s home date with Watford.
“There’s a week coming up where we’ve got Leicester, Crystal Palace and Cardiff. I’ve been having sleepless nights about that week,” said Flitcroft. “That’s really driving me mad that one.
“But it’s about rotation now. They’re a special group and I trust him them 100 per cent.
“It’s a special team and they are giving me special memories.
“The courage they’ve shown wouldn’t go a miss on a battle field - I really believe that.
“This thing is bubbling along nicely. There was a lot of pessimism after the Manchester City game, but the 6,000 fans who went to support us there are realists.”
The Reds were thumped 5-1 by Brighton in August and Flitcroft admitted that defeat was especially hard to swallow.
And so victory over the Seagulls, especially on their home patch and given the magnitude of the games, was particularly sweet to savour.
“I’m very proud of the way we played because I’m a fan of Brighton and they way they play football,” added Flitcroft. “I’m a fan of what Gus Poyet is doing at the club and we got absolutely schooled by them earlier in the season. That was certainly one of the worst trips home I’ve ever had.
“But we knew had to get about them and do the ugly things well. We didn’t let them play with any freedom.
“It was a magnificent performance and we know that we won’t come up against a much tougher side than Brighton.”